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Old 09-16-2007, 11:44 AM   #1
blackbirdzach OP
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Talking Dualsporting Survivorman Style!

I posted it towards the end of the week that I wanted to do a pretty knarly local dual sport ride. Since I went most of the summer bikeless, I was really itching to get out there and get dirty again. Also, I had just finished sorting out my 1993 Suzuki DR350S. I thought about heading up to Rebel Yell in North GA with the rest of the ADV crowd, but I was on an unproven bike. I didn't want to get all the way up there and have a break down.

Since no way else was coming I left a bit earlier than originally planned. I drove to the office where I keep the bike and arranged all my gear. Since this was a solo trip and I still wanted to get pictures, I brought along my tripod (complete with dog leash neck strap, heehee) and a couple of other lenses for the camera.

Finally ready to hit the road.



I jumped on the bike and hit the starter button....and nothing happened. Yeah...it's kick start only.

I pulled it to half choke, held the compression release and kicked it through three or four times. Then Let go of the comp release and gave it a solid kick. brup brup dead. Tired it again.



VRRRRROM brap brap brap brap A-HA! I'm getting better at this!
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:53 AM   #2
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I putted my way down the road a mile or so to my first turn off. The Type 1 Teraflex I have on the road bounces like a pogo stick on the road. They company I bought it fron had warned me about this and suggested I add another rim lock to balance it out. Truth be told, I didn't notice it anymore by the end of the day. But, WOW!!!!, this thing is a monster in the mud. I'm not sure I will ever run anything but a T-Flex on the back of the little DR. It was fantastic all day. Mud, grass, hardpack, big rocks, and hill climbs, it does it all!

And I'm off!!!





I hadn't gone very far before I got to the first mud pit. It goes all the way across the path so there's not really any route to get around it except through the woods.....but what fun would that be! Plus I wanted to see what the little bike and I were capable of.







As I was building this bike up and went on a parts shopping spree, I shared that I wasn't sure that I made the right choice in selecting an MT21 for a front. My doubt was quickly squashed on the first mud pit. GREAT front tire, this one. It was very comfy on the road as well, the front end felt well planted and not the lest bit squirrley.

"Don't forget the camera, Zach!!!" Half my day today was spent going back, both walking and riding, to retrieve my gear. By noon, my legs and back were worn slap out.







My first fork in the road. Which way should I go????

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Old 09-16-2007, 11:59 AM   #3
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I chose the path to the right that follows the creek. With the past couple of days of rain, everything was very grown up and a beautiful lushes green. The Terflex puts a serious hurtin on the local vegetation. heehee.



Ooooooo, a deep one this time. I set the camera up then had to walk back to the bike. Guh. I hope this is worth it....

Not a lot of room to get turned around and both sides of the little road are deeply rutted.







CRIMANY!!! I didn't get the bike turned around in time. I had to walk back to the camera and start over again. This went on all day.

AAAAAAAAAAaaaaand....GOOOOOOO!!!!



Although it's not the Red Sea, Moses would be proud.



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Old 09-16-2007, 12:09 PM   #4
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I continued on my way without obstacle until I got to the first bridge crossing. It's usually a breeze to cross, but this time I had my be tripod strapped around my neck and laying across my lap. About half way across it rolled off the left side of my lap, caught up in the grab rail of the bridge and just about yanked me off the bike. I was SURE my camera was gone...but it held on and suffered no damage.



I wound my way across this drainage pond which was relaly nasty since all the trash from the adjoining apartment complex. It was sorta sad. It really could have been a nice place to relax and hang out.



My new camera does sooooo much better with Greens than my previous camera. All the pictures today were taken in "auto" mode, I haven't played around with all the manual ISO setttings, but I'm sure it will take even better shots than these.



After a short climb up a narrow trail I came to the second bridge crossing. I'll be honest, this one sorta gives me the creeps. I can just feel it collapsing as I go across....




...then I had to park the bike and walk back across it to get my gear. I wonder how long it would be before someone found me down there.... Anyone have a body they need to dispose of?





Not a bad looking bike if I may say so myself. I can't wait till my decals come it.

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Old 09-16-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
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That was the end of the section so I hit the pavement for another mile or so and pulled back off into the dirt. I rode a little ways on the hard pack until I got to where the trail goes under Interstate 20...then I found the mud. LOTS of mud.

It was rutted out badly on both sides...Well, I say badly, but it made it a lot more fun. So, it was rutted out goodley. My Mom, who teaches English, would be so disappointed in me.

SPLASH DOWN!





The next one was deeper. I set up the camera and went back to retrieve the bike.



Awww, crap. I turned it off. No chance of kicking it off and still making it across before the camera goes off. I fired it back up, left it there, and walked back to restart the camera.

Round TWO!



Yup! There's a hole there! hahahahaha



It was so much fun the first time, I thought I'd have another go..




Look at that Teraflex churning up the goo. Money well spent, I think. After trying different pressures, I settled at 10 front and 8 rear.




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Old 09-16-2007, 12:18 PM   #6
Klay
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Thanks for all the work in getting those pictures, and great new bike! I want one of those.
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:23 PM   #7
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Looks like fun!!! And great pictures. Now what camera and remote system are you using?
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:29 PM   #8
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Thumb Excellent pics!

BBZ,

Outstanding pictures ...particularly due to the work that went into getting them solo

I really like this one:


Great work! Looks like it was a fun, if tiring day!

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Old 09-16-2007, 12:30 PM   #9
blackbirdzach OP
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Hole after hole after hole, I made my way down the trail. Some where a breeze, others were a little slick...but they all were fun.







I rode around here for a bit and just plain enjoyed myself. My low battery light started flashing here, so I didn't shoot a lot.





I finished up my exploring on the North side of the interstate and wanted to try out a new section on the Southern side. It was easy riding for the first quarter mile or so and there were numerous offshoots in just about every direction. I just stuck to the main road and it eventually brought me to a shap down hill and into a creek.



I rode up the other side and onto a short, flat, grassy area and was presented with....

THE HILL OF DEATH!111!1

Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration. But it was still a loose, steep, long and nasty climb.



I was really excited about it. I had been wanting to find some new local challanges and this hill rivaled one we found in North GA by accident last year. The only difference was this one was not covered in leaves, so you could actually see where you were going.



Stooooopid me accidently left the wide angle lens on the camera and zoomed in. Doh! The next three shots came out blurry. That'll learn me to do that again.







Once I got all the way to the top...you guessed it, I had to go back and get my gear. For the first part I just walked down.



For the second part, I slid on my rear end. The hill is so steep you can't even see it in this next picture. The hill side just falls away and in the upper half of the picture you can see the grassy floor that I was on before.



Once I got back to the bike I just pooped. So I sat down and had a bottle of water. The whole bottle.


blackbirdzach screwed with this post 09-16-2007 at 01:25 PM
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:32 PM   #10
blackbirdzach OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boother
Looks like fun!!! And great pictures. Now what camera and remote system are you using?
Thanks for the compliment! I'm using a Canon Powershot A710IS. Part of the pain was I didnt' have a remote system...only a TEN SECOND delay. I'd hit the button and haul ass back to the bike and hop on really quick. I certianly got my exercise today.
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:42 PM   #11
SinFrenas
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wow, that's commitment to a ride report!

paid off, though. you got quite a few rad pics out of that adventure.

yeehaw!
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:44 PM   #12
blackbirdzach OP
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Since I was at the top of the hill and taking a breather, I thought I'd try out my telephoto lens. Next time, I'd really like to make all the way up to this gas line cut...



I had two more sections that I really wanted to do, so I saved it for another day. Oh, and since we're sitting here doing nothing, here's what I carried with me.

My 6 foot tall collapsible tripod (which I broke later in the trip), my bike and saftey gear (of course!), and my backpack (which held my wallet, keys, cell phone, first aid kit, additional lenses for the camera, and a couple of other odds and ends). I was too lazy to change out the telephoto lens for this next shot, but it came out sorta cool anyway.



My backpack which has served me faithfully for a long time.



My lenses and gloves.



The section of of trail I took to get out of here was tough with lots of deep ruts, large rocks, and steep down hills. Consequently I didn't take any pictures of my escape since setting up and retrieving the camera gear was just too much of a chore.

I got back on the pavement and made my way to the next section. Some of you will recognize it as the muddy crossing that gave Alex (The Warrior) and I so much trouble!

Alex chilling in the sun here back in April...



The rain we had at the end of the week really threw this place into a freenzy! I have NEVER seen the grass and weeds like this before!




I didn't take any pictures of me crossing because I couldn't find a place to set the camera and still have time to get back to the bike.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:00 PM   #13
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I had only gone maybe another quarter of a mile before I noticed something thwack thwack thwacking in the back of the leg. So I stopped the bike and discovered I had kudzu packed just about everyone someone could pack kudzu. Guh, I can't believe I forgot my knife! I'll never do that again.



Last time I was through here in the Spring, all of this was just brown and dead. Today it was like it's own little forrest.



Now where was I? Oh yes! Picking crap outta my spokes, sprockets, foot pegs, shifter, and brakes. Geeeeeez. I'll bring a bottle of Round Up next time.



Just over the hill the path connected to the road that runs to the power plant. Sweet! Damp dirt.... A man couldn't ask for better traction!



With my camera battery flashing low everytime I turned the camera on, I held off on the pics until the next section....and even then I only had enough for one watercrossing.


I took my exit from this section into a neighborhood culdesac. I road down the main street and back to the road that would take me to the next section. Once I arrived I was again greeted with slightly damp dirt. It was a riot. The only minus was the now broken tripod that would hit the chin part of my helmet everytime I hit a bump or took the liberty of a small jump.

I got down to the next crossing where I drowned my XR650L back in Feb of this year. The water was quite a bit lower today than it was all those months ago. I wasn't sure whether I should be happy or disappointed! hahahha.

So I parked the bike and walked down the creek to set the camera up. I hit the "go" button and ran back in the opposite direction....tripped on a rock and fact planted in the creek. I picked myself up hoping I still had enough to to get the shot.

Nope. Instead I got three pictures of me looking like a moron.








I prayed I had enough battery for one more go. I parked the bike again and ran back to the camera. I hit "go" and ran back, this time careful to avoid the rock.





And splash down, a little rut a 4 wheeler made.



And that was it for the battery. I was bummed out, but happy that I at least got to take some time to test the bike out and try out my new camera and lenses too! Overall it was a great day. I got nasty muddy and soaking wet, but to me, that's just part of the adventure.

Hope you guys enjoyed it!!! I should be back to doing this once a week now.

bbz
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:14 PM   #14
Will LC8
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That was cool for taking all the pics yourself. Some of them were damn nice. I can't even get pics that nice when I'm behind the camera.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:44 PM   #15
safetywire
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Nice report, Blackbird! Thanks for taking all the time for the photo setup!

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